Gear up for the largest individually timed cycling event in the world
Set to take off at the sound of the starting gun on Sunday, 10 March 2013, the 36th Cape Argus Cycle Tour – usually referred to as ‘the Argus’ – will once again see scores of cyclists from all over gear up for the largest individually timed cycling event in the world.
Started in 1978 to raise awareness about the lack of bike paths in South Africa, the cycle tour, in its inaugural year, was a simple ride-in that drew hundreds of eager riders and the Mayor of Cape Town. While the organisers, Bill Mylrea and John Stegmann, were impressed with the turn-out, there’s no way they could’ve anticipated the event’s explosive popularity in years to come.
The starting line for the 2013 Argus is in Hertzog Boulevard at the Cape Town Civic Centre, and the route – it’s 110km long – will take riders onto the N2, down the M3 along the False Bay Coast past the entrance to the Cape of Good Hope, along the Atlantic coast, over Suikerbossie Hill and on to the Cape Town Stadium in Green Point.
While the original route was intended to take cyclists on a 140-km circular stretch, including a leg through Cape Point, the nature reserve declined entry and the route was reduced to between 104-km and 110-km, passing over the scenic Chapman’s Peak.
Spectator Spots for the 2013 Cape Argus Cycle Tour
Get in on all the action without breaking a sweat and support friends, family and riders from one of the recommended spectator spots listed below. Residents and visitors in the various areas are kindly requested to access the vantage points on foot in order to minimize traffic jams and to keep the roads clear for the cyclists.
|The Start, Hertzog Boulevard||If you live in the suburbs or in the city centre, take your bicycle into town. If you travel by car, park in any of the surrounding side streets and walk to the start area. Alternatively make use of the MyCiTi Bus service. There’s an awesome vibe and it’s a rare sight to see so many cyclists together. Be prepared for an early start and practice your ‘WHOOOPLAH!’|
|Newlands Forest Area||Accessible from the east side of the M3, as well as the pedestrian subway at the “Parks and Forest” area. You will be treated to some sprint riding by the still fresh and enthusiastic cyclists.|
|Paradise Road (Near Paradise Motors)||This point is accessible from Main Road, Claremont and is a good place to view the cyclists as they speed down Paradise Road and start climbing up Edinburgh Drive.|
|Edinburgh Drive (Up To Top Of Wynberg Hill – Outbound)||The steepest gradient of the Cycle Tour will give you the chance to cheer and inspire the cyclists as they struggle up the first climb of the route. If you are keen to spot your mum or your best buddy, then this is undoubtedly the best vantage point.|
|Main Road/Steenberg Road (Muizenberg)||This easily accessible vantage point allows you to see the cyclists as they speed towards the sea.|
|Kalk Bay and St. James||Enjoy breakfast at one of the many restaurants in the area and toast the cyclists as they ride past. It is the first time since 2008 that the route passes through Kalk Bay and St. James, so expect the locals to come out en masse! Spectators can park on Boyes Drive and take the steps down to Main Road.|
|Fish Hoek||The traffic circle and Main Road in the centre of town always attracts many supporters.|
|Glencairn Beach||Pedestrian access to the grassed area (Glen Ridge side) with large lawns opposite the beach. Or make your way to the Glencairn Hotel/Southern Right or Dixies restaurant. Due to the road closures, this area is only accessible by foot.|
|Simon’s Town Main Road||Jubilee Square has been a firm spectator favourite for years and always has a great vibe. Spectators can also make their way to Simon’s Town via the Southern Peninsula train line.|
|Scarborough||Gain access to Main Road on foot or view from pubs and restaurants along the road.|
|Noordhoek Farm Village||Residents are requested to access this area (Main Road) on foot, or relax at any of the pubs or restaurants on the roadside while you watch the cyclists speed by|
|Hout Bay (Corner Princess and Main/Chapman’s Peak Drive)||If you live in Hout Bay and haven’t managed to escape the madness, take a stroll down to Main Road (M65) and give the cyclists that final energy boost before they hit the dreaded Suikerbossie.|
|Suikerbossie||It may not be the toughest hill on the route, but most participants dread this climb. They are tired and need all the encouragement you can give. Suikerbossie – all the way from the bottom circle to the top before Llandudno – is a perfect vantage point for locals.|
|Camps Bay Beachfront||Join the beautiful people for a few hours and relax at one of Camps Bay’s many beachfront restaurants or on the beach. A pedestrian bridge allows you to cross the cycle stream to the beach.|
|Sea Point||Adrenaline aplenty at the sharp left turn from Victoria Road into Queens Road! A pedestrian bridge allows you to cross the road here.|
|Promenade & Finish Line||Make your way to the Promenade to watch the cyclists breaking into their final sprint to the finish or witness all the emotion and high drama, typical of the Cycle Tour finish line.|
Registration and Entries for the 2013 Cape Argus Cycle Tour
Entries for this year’s (2013) Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour opened on Saturday, 1 September 2012, but now, as the race’s capacity, 35,000 riders, has been reached, entries are no longer being accepted. For those interested in increasing their seeding index for future cycle tours, a number of seeding events are still to come for the 2014 race. For more information, visit Cycletour.co.za or follow @CycleTourTrust on Twitter for regular updates.
Registration for the 2013 Cape Argus Cycle Tour will take place at the 2013 Cape Argus Lifecycle Expo at the Good Hope Centre on Thursday, 7 (9:30am – 7pm), Friday, 8 (9am – 7pm) and Saturday, 9 March (9am – 4pm). Cape Argus Cycle Tour participants must bring along their RaceTec/Winning Time chips for free (single) entry, and 2013 Cape Argus Pick n Pay MTB Challenge and Nashua Grape Escape riders will each receive an entry voucher. For those who are not taking part in the race, entry to the expo will cost R30p/p, and kiddies under the age of 12 enter for free. Riders can collect race packs on behalf of one another; please make sure that the absent cyclist has a RaceTec chip or they will not be allowed to access the start of the race.
Do note that registration will NOT take place on the day of the race.
A series of roads in and out of the city and along the cycling route will be closed to traffic – except media and emergency vehicles – and participants are encouraged to use public transport to the event. Special Metrorail tickets are available at the Cape Argus Lifecycle Expo at R40p/p, which allow riders to bring along their bicycles on the train. Note that the normal Sunday timetable applies for all Metrorail trains; so, consult Metrorail.co.za for the schedule.
Fun facts about the Cape Argus Cycle Tour
- The fastest men’s record was set by Robbie Hunter in 2008; who completed the 110-km course in 02:27:29.
- The fastest women’s record was set by Anke Erlank-Moore in 2007; who completed the 110-km course in 02:48:29.
- The fastest average speed of 47.48-km/h was set by Wimpie van der Merwe in 1993.
- Penny Krohn set the record for the highest number of consecutive wins – 25 – within an age group.
- The oldest man to complete the race within the allotted time (7 hours) was Japie Malan who did the race on a single bicycle in 2010 and on a tandem in 2012. He is 92 years old.
- Mary Warner is the oldest woman to complete the race within the allotted time (7 hours), in 2006; she was 80 years old at the time.